I'm still working on my friend joining CN but it will take some time, he is very reclusive. But he wanted me to ask your opinions. (He's a lurker).
So far, he's been using binoculars, some junk big box telescopes, Celestron Explorers, and currently a 6se. He has now saved up a few thousand dollars and his choices are: Celestron 8se, Celestron Evolution 9.25, Celestron 8 EdgeHD or 11HD (with CGX mount).
He has 2 toddlers, is very busy, but dedicates a lot of time to his hobbies. But he is kind of hesitant on going with the best (meaning an 11 inch) because of the counterweights, and trips needed from inside to outside to set this up. Is the Celestron Evolution 9.25 much easier to set up vs a CGX mount because it definitely seems so, no counterweights at all!? Another important point, he says he has NO interest in astrophotography at this time because he has tons of great pictures from that Facebook group "Telescope Addicts" that he doesn't feel the need to capture his own photos - he has a lot of fun looking at others' photos (as do I!).
He's already searched many threads and they all pretty much focus on buying the telescope that you will use the most - in conclusion, the 8 inch scopes seem to be the most used. He is wondering on the amount of detail seen with an 8 inch vs 11 inch, for example, on Saturn. I think that's why he settled on buying the 9.25inch Evolution.
He prefers to look at solar system objects, planets and some deep sky objects. I did tell him that looking at some deep sky objects may require a wider field of view like an Explore Scientific ED102-FCD-100 refractor - was that correct advice? How is the Celestron 9.25 for DSO?
Thanks for any comments for my lurker friend, and I'll continue to try to recruit another member for CN!